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Entries in Jessica Chastain (84)

Friday
Jan162015

Up Close at the 20th Annual "Critics Choice" Awards

Goddess with regular person. But at least he's in a brand new expensive suit.Did you want the Critics Choice Movie Awards last night? That accounts for my radio silence. I had the extreme good fortune of sitting at Jessica Chastain's table. No, I couldn't believe it either for which I must thank A24 profusely. It's true The Film Experience has been kinda nuts about their movies here from Spring Breakers to Under the Skin to the already weirdly underappreciated A Most Violent Year (opening in late late December is so hard for movies that are small and aren't directed by Clint Eastwood) but it was still an unbelievably kind gesture.

It turns out though that sitting at a table with some of the honored stars (Jenny Slate, also at the table, took home Best Comedy Actress) that is smack dab in the center (Wild table to the left, Theory of Everything and Unbroken to the right, Selma tables --plural, that's a big cast behind you) is rather terrifying and chaotic. Because I had the back to stage seat, the cameramen were running up to squat or stand hovering over me carrying loads of equipment to point the camera at Jessica and Jenny for reaction shots and for their wins. [More...]

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Thursday
Jan152015

The Five Stages of Grief via Oscar Nominations

Though Oscar nomination morning is my Christmas -- the day I anticipate so heavily each year when all the prezzies are ripped open -- it's not all happiness. Oscar also gives out lumps of coal on this day each year. Let us celebrate five big snubs (or omissions if you hate that word) representing each stage of grief so that we can work through it and move on.

Though SELMA got a Best Picture nod, it was ignored in every other category but Song

DENIAL I'm pretending that American Sniper, a conservative leaning (though not unartful) celebration of war heroism didn't crash the party late and win a ton of nominations (which encourages the studios to do that December/January glutting) while the progressive Selma -- which we actually need unlike a film about someone who's good with a gun! -- couldn't muster up more than two nominations.

 

ANGER Ava DuVernay, who would have been the first woman of color nominated for Best Director, should have been among the five Best Director nominees. She handled a large scale historical film and made it reverberate with danger, grief, inspiration, courage, and immediacy which is more than can be said for most historical epics. And it's only her third film! Can't wait to see what number four is like. As a subset of this stage of grief: anger. The Oscar nominations are just another reminder that Oscar does not value female narratives, not behind the scenes or onscreen. Movies about men trying to find themselves, or redemption or triumph over adversity score. Movies about women or people of color doing the same things do not (see: Wild and Selma, this year and examples in many other years; Oscar is a boys club)

BARGAINING The Lego Movie which I felt would meet more resistance than it initially had because it is basically a 2 hour commercial was nevertheless a surprise omission. I hope this doesn't discourage future filmmakers from going above and beyond because, YES, it was a commercial for toy product but it was like the best long-form commercial ever. So much funnier and more stylish and surprising than it had any right to be really. So next time someone overachieves Oscar, toss them a bone okay?

DEPRESSION All year long we (correctly) heard that it was a super strong year for Best Actor and it was. So why is the actual shortlist so disatisfying? Two answers: you could call Carell (against type / prosthetic nose) without even seeing the picture (and if you see the picture it's a heavily stilted performance and you can label Bradley Cooper a "default" nominee now with three consecutive nominations and though he's definitely under this guy's skin, it's a very unchallenging star turn compared to the snubbed competition.

This year of all years isn't time to lean on gimmicks or default status. Not when you had Ralph Fiennes's gloriously civilized sly performance keeping Grand Budapest Hotel grounded in gravitas and culture and wit when it could theoretically have defaulted to diorama kitsch. Not when Jake Gyllenhaal is doing the best work of his career in Nightcrawler. Not when David Oyelowo is becoming a great Southern orator. Not when... etcetera...

This was very disrespectfulACCEPTANCE Jessica Chastain missed out on a nod for what may well be her best screen performance yet in A Most Violent Year. But the film arrived very late and just didn't catch on quickly enough. And people got hung up on the Pfeiffer/Scarface look and missed the fact that the ubiquitous actress was doing interesting things with a more complicated character than her entrepeneur's wife first appeared to be in clip form.  (For what it's worth Pfeiffer also missed a nomination for Scarface, one of her many awful snubbings.) But we know that Chastain, who makes three movies a year and most of them high profile, will be back so we'll let this one slide. 

Who and what would represent your five stages this morning?

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Sunday
Jan112015

Golden Globe Arrivals

Our favorite movie/tv party night has arrived. Rosamund Pike had a baby five weeks ago and arrives looking like this. I love her but I'm not actually convinced that she's human.

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Friday
Jan092015

Jessica Chastain is Everything. And Other Links

Let's start with this super cute pic of Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac which she labelled

Feeling the power of the NBR

Remember the other day when we linked to that article using old Streep quotes to attack Russell Crowe's ageist comments about actresses? Well, Streep went and ruined it by defending him in public. So Jessica Chastain, inbetween taking super cute photos on the Oscar campaign trail, is on it, she told People:

I think there are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in films. And for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age – they're not going to the movies enough."

Preach, Jessica. Preach! 

Pajiba fascinating think piece on how ineffective Nielsen ratings are and why it's unacceptable that the media still uses them like a Bible
NYT Rod Taylor (The Birds, The Time Machine, The Twilight Zone), dies at 84
MCN David Poland's top ten (oops, eleven) list includes unlikely titles: Big Eyes, Fury, The Gambler and more
The Film Stage Matt Damon will headline Alexander Payne's next feature Downsizing
EW talks to Andrew Fleming about Honeymoon on Vegas (now a Broadway musical) and the rest of his filmography 

VF I missed this bit of Captain Chris Evans escorting Betty White to the stage at the People's Choice. I never watch that. What did I miss?
Variety Michael C Hall joins Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Wes Bentley in the new Pete's Dragon. Apparently the remake is not a musical? Boo. Especially considering that Michael C Hall is totally a musical guy!
Breathe Heavy photoshopping underwear ads with Justin Bieber 

Awardsy
THR on the Weinstein Co playbook for making unknowns like Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) viable Best Director contenders
Guardian Controversy continues to erupt around American Sniper. right-wingers have called for the death of those criticizing Chris Kyle (who is played by Bradley Cooper in the film). Good christ, I hope AMPAS dodges this bullet. 
Q & Andy from Interview Ava DuVernay has the answers 
The Hairpin more on DuVernay's "quiet revolution"

Exit Tease
In case you didn't turn the internet on in the past 48 hours or so, that's the poster for Netflix's Daredevil with its surprisingly early debut date. I know I should be done with superheroes -- they're as overexposed as its possible to be but Daredevil holds a stubborn place in my heart (despite Ben Affleck and team trying to remove it without anesthetia) and Charlie Cox is über-adorable. So I'm kinda excited. I know. I know. I'm part of the problem. 

 

Tuesday
Dec302014

Interview: Oscar Isaac on "A Most Violent Year" And His Alien Future

Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success. He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew, slowly but surely. Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time. There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star though Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is to date "the signature role". In contrast, his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady. It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C. Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set drama A Most Violent Year

I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman, working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain, what casting directors think of him, and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Our conversation is after the jump...

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Monday
Dec292014

Lead Actress Chat-a-long

Epix only uploads tiny pieces of this for viewing but someone has uploaded their whole Best Actress roundtable. The Supporting Actress version was up briefly before being pulled so watch it while you can. Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Emily Blunt, Shailene Woodley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Jessica Chastain.

 

They talk for about 10 minutes at the beginning about singing and musicals -- someone needs to cast Gugu in a traditional musical straightaway!  

UPDATE: Though the special presentations are not available in full for embedding, you can see all five of them here at the Epix site.